Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Gutsy, spicy, satisfying and loved by grown-ups and children alike! This is one of those ‘store cupboard’ pasta dishes you can make when you haven’t been able to get to the shops – as long as you have the basic ingredients of olives, anchovies, capers, chilli and garlic (things like the cherry toms and fresh herbs are nice to have but not essential), you can rustle up this dish with spaghetti, spaghettini, rigatoni, penne or whatever pasta comes to hand. It's surprisingly healthy, with omega-3 from the anchovies and vitamin C from the herbs and
the garlic. Tomatoes in any form are full of nutrients and there is a good portion of low-G.I. carbohydrate from the pasta. A word of warning – wash your hands after you have crushed the chillies. I once forgot to and then took out my contact lenses later in the day – a painful experience!


  • 500g spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and very finely sliced
  • 2 whole dried chillies, crushed
  • 50g tinned anchovies, drained and chopped roughly
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • handful of  pitted black olives, chopped roughly
  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus some extra leaves for decoration
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh parmesan shavings

1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a medium saucepan and gently fry the garlic for a minute. Then add a dried chilli and the anchovies. Cook gently for a few minutes and then add the capers, the olives and the sun-dried tomatoes.
2. Add the can of tomatoes and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, then add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes or so until the tomatoes become a little soft. Finally, add the herbs, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Check for seasoning - you may need the other
chilli but you probably will not need any salt because of the anchovies and the capers.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the pack. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and add it to the sauce. Add the extra virgin olive oil, stir it all together and then serve it up. 
4. Decorate with some torn up basil leaves and shavings of parmesan cheese.


This recipe is from Kate's Go Faster Food book.

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